Grim Sleeper case: 8 more women could be victims of serial killer, LAPD says
Los Angeles police detectives are investigating the possibility that eight additional women were victims of the man accused of being the Grim Sleeper serial killer.
Lonnie Franklin Jr. already has been indicted in 10 slayings of women in South Los Angeles stretching over more than two decades. He has been in custody awaiting trial since his arrest in July.
In a statement previewing a news conference scheduled for Tuesday, LAPD detectives said they were turning to the public for help finding eight more women, all of whom are known to have had some connection with Franklin.
Six of the women are reported missing persons, one is the victim of an unsolved slaying, and one is unidentified.
Although police have eyed four of the women as possible victims for some time, the other four are additions to the investigation.
Detectives are expected to display photographs of the six missing women, along with their names and last known location. Three of them were connected to the case by strong circumstantial evidence recovered at Franklin’s residence, police said. The three other missing women are thought to have had several things in common with others whom police have confirmed as likely victims. Each had frequented Franklin’s neighborhood before her disappearance.
The women were reported missing as far back as 1982, and the most recent in 2006.
The identity of a seventh woman remains unknown. Her photo was among a cache of photos of scores of women found at Franklin's residence. Although they still don't know her identity, detectives said they had uncovered evidence at Franklin's residence indicating that she had a direct connection to him. Police did not elaborate on the evidence.
Detectives believe that the eighth woman, who was killed in 1988, may have been a victim of Franklin because her killing has similarities to the others Franklin is accused of committing.
Police also displayed once again 56 photos from the cache recovered at Franklin's residence. Detectives are still working to identify the women in the photos in an attempt to eliminate them or include them as possible victims.
-- Joel Rubin and Richard Winton
Photo: Suspect Lonnie Franklin Jr. in court last year. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times
Learn more about the Grim Sleeper's known victims on The Times interactive Homicide Report.